Those of us who have dogs know that walking that dog is good exercise. We also enjoy the companionship of taking our pet on an outing with us. What some dog walkers don’t realize is that there is a certain etiquette to be followed when walking a dog in public areas.
The Do’s of Dog Walking
While some people believe that their dog should be allowed everywhere they go, there are places that the family pooch should stay away from. Walk your dog in pet friendly locations only. There are many designated dog parks and even stores where it is acceptable to walk your dog.
Do make sure that your dog is leash trained. That means more than just snapping the leash on and dragging Fido around. A properly trained dog does not pull on the leash. The leash should not even be taunt, just relaxed from your hand to the dog’s collar. You should simply hold the leash in your hand and the dog should walk beside you without a problem.
If a particular section of the sidewalk is crowded with people, move to the other side, or place your dog on the side of you farthest away from the crowd. Have respect for people who may not like dogs, or who may be afraid of them.
I am an advocate of the methods taught by Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer.” Cesar states that the owner should be the “pack leader” and that the dog should know how to obey the pack leader. Keep your dog by your side, never allow him or her to lead you.
The Don’ts of Dog Walking
Don’t walk your dog if you do not have complete control of him. This can be a dangerous situation for you, your dog and others. Don’t allow your dog to lunge, jump or even approach another dog or a human. You may know the dog is perfectly friendly, but they do not.
Another dog may interpret your dogs lunge as a challenge and will retaliate aggressively. Your lunging dog may frighten passersby, and they have a right to enjoy their walk without fear, just as you and your dog do.
Don’t walk your dog into exceptionally crowded areas, such as street fairs, open air cafes or sporting events. This is rude and most places have a ban on allowing dogs into the area. It is a safety issue for all concerned.
Don’t let your dog hike his leg wherever he pleases. My own little Shih Tzu thinks he needs to wet every tire on my SUV, but other people may not appreciate it. Keep your dog away from people’s cars, bikes and motorcycles. You may think it is funny, but trust me, others will not. Don’t let the dog have a bowel movement anywhere he’d like either. You should know your dog’s potty schedule, so if it is time for a bowel movement, guide her to a discreet location and then clean up after her.
To learn more about the Dog Whisperers methods and training you can watch the show on the National Geographic Channel. You can also view the website at:
Check out Cesar’s Book, “How to Raise the Perfect Dog.” It’s available at the website.
Millan has recently started a magazine called “Cesar’s Way” where you can find a wealth of information on things like proper ways to walk your dog and many other useful topics. You can purchase it at your favorite magazine store like I did and then subscribe to it!www.cesarmillaninc.com